On this Octave Day of Christmas we begin 2017, as we begin every new year, under the patronage of Mary, Mother of God. May she keep us safe in her maternal embrace as we face the blessings and the crosses God has in store for us this year.
The above is one of the oldest images of the Mother of God, dating from the 7th century. And this Egyptian papyrus fragment contains the oldest known prayer to the Theotokos (Bearer of God), dating from the third century. This is written in Greek, but you would be familiar with its Latin name, the Sub Tuum. There is an informative little article about it here, as well as a link to hear the prayer chanted in the original Greek.